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Italian Air Force begins MQ-9A Reaper training

26th June 2023 - 16:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The training courses encompass basic qualification, tailored to meet the requirements of the existing Block 1 aircrew. (Photo: GA-ASI)

The Italian Air Force (IAF) has begun training the inaugural group of pilots and sensor operators who will operate the MQ-9A Block 5 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS).

The training programme, which started on 12 June, is taking place at the Flight Test & Training Center (FTTC) in Grand Forks, North Dakota, which is managed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI).

The IAF is currently waiting for delivery of its first MQ-9A Block 5, marking the beginning of a series of Block 5 aircraft to be incorporated into their expanding fleet.

The training commenced with the Instructor Difference Training (IDT) specifically designed for Italian instructors hailing from 32 Squadron stationed at Amendola Air Base.

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Over the course of the programme, a total of 31 aircrew members (14 pilots and 17 sensor operators) will undergo the MQ-9 Block 1 to Block 5 Transition Courses (TX-4).

These courses encompass basic qualification (TX-1), tailored to meet the requirements of the existing Block 1 aircrew. This involves comprehensive training in mission control elements and automated checklists.

One notable aspect of the training is the inclusion of live flight exercises, allowing the aircrew to gain hands-on experience with the UAV.

‘The Flight Test & Training Center has become an invaluable resource for our esteemed clients,’ said David Alexander, president of GA-ASI. ‘Its distinguished reputation stems from the centre's exceptional instructional quality, advanced training devices, and the availability of extensive airspace for operational purposes.’

MQ-9A Reaper

The Shephard News Team


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